Low-Dose Naltrexone as an Adjuvant in Combined Anticancer Therapy

Low-Dose Naltrexone as an Adjuvant in Combined Anticancer Therapy
Marianna Ciwun, Anna Tankiewicz-Kwedlo, Dariusz Pawlak

Cancers (Basel), 2024 Mar 21;16(6):1240. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38539570/

Naltrexone (NTX) is a non-selective antagonist of opioid receptors, primarily used in the therapy of opioid and alcohol dependence. Low-dose naltrexone (LDN) exhibits antagonistic action against the opioid growth factor receptor (OGFr), whose signaling is associated with the survival, proliferation, and invasion of cancer cells. The mechanism of action of LDN depends on the dose and duration of the OGFr blockade, leading to a compensatory increase in the synthesis of the opioid growth factor (OGF), which has an inhibitory effect on carcinogenesis. Numerous studies on in vitro and in vivo models provide evidence of LDN's positive impact on inhibiting the OGF-OGFr axis in cancers. LDN's unique mechanism of action on cancer cells, lack of direct cytotoxic effect, and immunomodulating action form the basis for its use as an adjuvant in chemotherapy and immunotherapy of cancerous lesions.

Keywords: adjuvant; cancer; low-dose naltrexone; naltrexone; synergistic therapy.